PREP FOOTBALL: Local teams begin home stretch of regular season in week 7

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Vinemont’s Colby Miller, Holly Pond’s Landon Perkins and Arab’s Alex Alcala. (Martha Needham and Andrew Knedlik/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – We’re hitting the home stretch of the regular season this week and thanks to a wave of rain coming into the area at the end of this week, local teams will have to be ready to play Thursday night. Some teams, like Arab, West Point, Holly Pond and Good Hope will have be on the road for critical region matchups and Hanceville, Addison, Meek, Vinemont and the 10th-ranked Fairview Aggies will host region foes. There are only a few weeks left in the regular season so it’s almost time to fill out the field for this year’s state playoffs. Cullman and Cold Springs were both originally scheduled to play Columbia and Midfield respectively this week, but the Bearcats’ game has been rescheduled for Oct. 29 and the Patriots have been forced to cancel the remainder of their season, giving the Eagles a forfeit win and an off week.

(4-3) Arab at (5-1) Oxford

The Knights have run off three straight wins coming into this week’s matchup, but they’ll be facing arguably their biggest test of the season on the road Thursday night. Oxford is 5-1 and tied for first place in the region and the Yellow Jackets have won their last three by a combined score of 164-34. The running game, led by running back Matthew Turnage, has been very effective for Arab during its winning streak and the Knights will have to be balanced offensively to have a chance at Oxford this week. A win would shoot Arab up into the upper level of the region standings and make some real noise in Class 6A.

(1-5) West Point at (0-6) Sardis

The Warriors have a little momentum behind them after collecting their first win of the season over Crossville last week and they have a good opportunity to keep the ball rolling Thursday night. Sardis is still looking for its first win of the year after falling to Guntersville 64-0 last week. The Lions have only scored 39 points through their first six games so they’ve had real struggles on the offensive side of the ball and West Point will look to take advantage of that this week and pick up another region win.

(5-1) Fairview v. (0-6) Crossville

Fairview is coming off a huge, 33-21 region win over Boaz last week and they have a chance to continue gaining ground in the region standings when they host Crossville Thursday night. West Point defeated Crossville 35-27 last week to drop the Lions to 0-6 on the season and it won’t get any easier for them this week when they arrive at Fairview. The 10th-ranked Aggies have won three straight and they’ll be aiming to make it four in a row Thursday night with the postseason just a few weeks away.

(6-1) Good Hope at (0-6) Fultondale

The Raiders suffered their first loss of the season to the Etowah Blue Devils last week, but they’ll have an opportunity to get that region win back this week at Fultondale. The Wildcats are still searching for their first win of the season and fell to Dora 39-27 last week. This week, they’ll have to deal with the physical defense and potent offense of the Good Hope Raiders. These two teams haven’t met since 2009 and Fultondale took that matchup 26-21 but the Raiders are planning to take this year’s meeting to bounce back from last week’s loss and continue to climb the region standings.

(1-5) Hanceville v. (4-2) Etowah

The Bulldogs have dropped four straight and fell to Oneonta 56-24 last week, but they’ll have to regroup and get ready for a strong Etowah squad this week. The Blue Devils handed Good Hope its first loss of the season last week and they have some momentum coming into Ray Talley Stadium. Hanceville will have its hands full this week and it’ll take a great performance on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs to knock off Etowah Thursday night.

(3-3) Vinemont v. (2-4) Susan Moore

Vinemont played arguably its best game of the season in a 28-18 loss to a strong Winfield team last week but it’ll have to try and build on that performance this week when it hosts Susan Moore for another critical region game. Susan Moore has lost three straight games to Winfield, Oneonta and Oakman so the Bulldogs will be hungry to get a win Thursday night. The Eagles are in the thick of the battle in the region standings right now and a win over Susan Moore will be crucial with the postseason coming up in a few weeks.

(2-5) Holly Pond at (6-1) Winfield

The Broncos got the chance to rest up last week after Tarrant was forced to cancel and now, they’ll hit the road this week for a region showdown against Winfield. The Pirates narrowly escaped Vinemont with a win last week and they’ll be prepared when Holly Pond arrives Thursday night. Winfield is undefeated within the region but the Broncos will try to change that this week and pick up their first non-forfeit victory of the season.

(4-3) Addison v. (3-3) Lamar County

The Bulldogs responded in a big way after falling to Good Hope two weeks ago by racing past Cold Springs 50-14 last week. Now they have another region game coming up this week against a Lamar County that just pulled off a huge, 19-18 win over Aliceville. Lamar County is just behind Addison in the region standings so it will no doubt be anxious to collect another big win after knocking off Aliceville last week. The last time these two met was in 2009 and Lamar County took the game 21-14 so this time, with playoff implications on the line, Addison will be aiming for another important region win.

(0-6) Meek v. (2-4) Lynn The postseason may be out of reach for the Tigers this season, but they still have a chance to finish the regular season strong and create some momentum going into next season. Meek fell to Marion County on the road last week and they’ll return home this week for another regional matchup against the Lynn Bears. Lynn fell to Vina on the road 36-0 last week so they’ll be anxious to bounce back but the Tigers will be ready and hungry to earn their first win of the season.

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